Polymer sealant is a particular variety of automotive sealant that is made up of synthetic ingredients, called polymers, in a liquid base that is applied to a car's finish during detailing. The application of polymer sealant creates a barrier between the finish and the elements, preventing damage and preserving the attractiveness of the car's appearance. Polymer sealant is used in detail work performed by the car owner as part of routine maintenance; as part of a commercial detailing package at a car wash, dealership or garage; and in industrial applications. Consumers can purchase polymer sealant over the Internet from various online vendors, or in person at automotive repair shops, hardware stores, and other retail outlets. It is usually packaged in plastic containers of varying size.
Automobiles come from the factory with high-quality paint jobs, but through daily use and contact with the elements, a car's finish can be damaged, resulting in an unsightly appearance. To prevent damage, periodic detailing work is necessary, and as such, there exists a market for products such as automotive sealant that will prevent damage and maintain a vehicle's exterior when applied during detailing. Polymer sealant is an alternative to other types of paint sealants. One competitor is botanically based car wax, such as carnauba wax, which is considered more difficult to apply and less durable.
The word "polymer" means "many parts" in Greek, and accordingly, polymers are very long chains of chemicals with repeating components. Rubbers, plastics and fibers are popular commercial manifestations of polymers, and they share in common the trait of unusual sturdiness. Automotive sealant seeks to create an extremely durable barrier between a car's finish and the elements, so polymers are a sensible ingredient in car paint sealant because of their inherent strength. The barrier created by an automotive sealant is called a sacrificial barrier, because it is meant to absorb the damage that otherwise would be inflicted upon the car's paint as part of wear and tear, thus sacrificing its own integrity. After it has absorbed the maximum amount of environmental damage, reapplication of the polymer sealant is necessary.
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Whether performed by the car owner or an automotive repair professional, detailing is a necessary part of vehicle upkeep. The application of a sealant is crucial to the process. Polymer sealant is an option that is thought by some to provide superior protective strength and to represent a good value for its price.